VALLEY CITY, Ohio — Have you heard the story of Annie, a senior dog living her best life? It's all thanks to two friends who rescued her from a kennel.
Annie's heartwarming tale has been told all over the country while opening hearts and minds to the wonders of senior pets.
"This one says 'roses are red, violets are blue. Happy St. Valentine's Day Annie, especially to you!'"
For Annie, Valentine's Day came in August, after Christmas in July. You squeeze in all the holidays when only a few days are left. Annie the black lab, turned silver, has a magical current life, but a mysterious former one.
"Her surrender notes simply said that she won't walk and she won't eat. And that she is 19-years-old," said Lauren Siler.
Siler spotted Annie on social media in a post about dogs in desperate need at a Dallas shelter. A rescue group got Annie out. Lauren brought her home and bucket list began: In-N-Out, Whataburger, professional photos, a birthday and walks or rides. Annie is quite "pupular."
"Some of her Instagram reels have had like 4.2 million views," Siler said.
Annie's story heartens senior dog advocates all over the country -- like Rachel Daw in Valley City.
"Oh my goodness, seniors are where my heart is," said Daw, a longtime rescue volunteer currently for Grateful Paws Rescue.
She has three pups of her own, all proudly rescues. The trio includes Violet, a senior stray Labrador Retriever, found in Cleveland. Daw already had fosters in her home, and couldn't take Violet in just yet. So Lake Erie Labrador Retriever lovingly fostered Violet until Daw could take her home.
"We think she's around 13. And she does this all day," says Daw looking at a sleeping Violet napping on the couch next to her. Violet still have some spunk, too, when she plays outside with her fur-siblings.
Violet is diabetic, but it's under control. Her health, now great, for an older gal. Rachel says health shouldn't scare off potential adopters. For the rewards are greater than you can imagine.
"Just like my Violet here. You know, wherever she was in the past, she deserves to live out her gold years. And the seniors are so easy," Daw said with a laugh.
Back in Texas, a veterinarian told Annie's adopters she only had about a month to live. So far, they've had five. So these best friends and roommates keep showering Annie with love, while knowing at some point they will grieve.
"Until she tells us she's ready to go, we're going to let her keep living life," said Siler.
Nineteen years worth of days, and these are the most loved days a dog has ever lived.
Grateful Paws Rescue started about five years ago. They take in dogs of all ages, but certainly have a fondness for the seniors.
Check out the dogs available at Grateful Paws HERE.
Check out the dogs available at Lake Erie Labrador Retriever Rescue HERE.
Check out these loveable seniors at City Dogs.
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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous pets story on Nov. 2, 2022.